The Group Program Manager for Windows at Microsoft has admitted that Microsoft didn’t give on sufficient credit to a developer who had created a Windows packaging app that ‘influenced’ Microsoft’s own new Windows package manager.
The lead-up to the admission is that a developer called Keivan Beigi had developed his own package manager, AppGet, in frustration at the shortcomings of existing apps in this area.
Last year, Beigi was contacted by Andrew Clinick, Group Program Manager for Windows, complimenting Beigi on AppGet and suggesting a meeting:
“to get feedback on how we can make your life easier building appget”
Beigi says that at the meeting, they,
talked about the ideas behind AppGet, what I thought was broken about the current package manager systems in Windows and what I had planned for AppGet’s future
Following more interaction, Beigi was offered an “acquit-hire” arrangement under which Microsoft would hire him, AppGet would come with him,and Microsoft would either rename it or call it Microsoft AppGet. He attended interviews, terms were discussed, then Microsoft went silent for six months.
As we reported, last month at Build 2020, Microsoft unexpectedly announced a new Windows Package Manager with strong similarities to AppGet. According to Beigi:
“the core mechanics, terminology, the manifest format and structure, even the package repository’s folder structure, are very inspired by AppGet”
Announcing WinGet, Microsoft did mention AppGet as one of a number of package managers that ‘inspired’ it, but Beigi felt this dramatically underplayed things, something corroborated by the fact that our coverage didn’t mention AppGet at all.
Now Andrew Clinick. the manager who first contacted Beigi, has written that Microsoft failed to provide recognition to Beigi and AppGet. It’s hardly a grovelling apology, but Clinick does say:
“There are a number of qualities in AppGet that really helped us get to a better product direction for WinGet.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Keivan for his thoughtful approach to AppGet and working with us.”
Microsoft may be trying hard to shed its image as the big bad oppressor of open source, but it seems some habits are hard to break.